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Monitoring Web Page Changes

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For many years we had links on some of our pages which allowed users to set up a monitoring service using Change Detection which alerted them to changes on those pages. Unfortunately this service has been discontinued. We selected three other change notification services, and launched a consultation process with a feedback form to find out users preferences. After two months, we have had no replies, so there will be no new built-in service. If you would like to set something up yourselves, then read on for more details of the three services we shortlisted - plus a real DIY option.

Visualping

Visualping is a sophisticated change monitoring service which can be configured by the user to do all sorts of clever things. Their starter service is free and allows 2 checks per day (or 62 per month). Users can configure the area of the page checked to avoid too many 'false positives'. These could occur on our news page with automated pieces of text which are not actually new news items. Find out more from their FAQ page.

If you are using the Chrome browser then Visualping have provided an app which puts an icon on the task bar, and so is available on any page you are viewing. Clicking the icon brings up a simple interface where you can select the area of the page for monitoring, the sort of change to look for and input your email address for notification. It really is that easy. More about the app.

Change Detect

Change Detect also has a free Basic service, which allows once a week checking of up to five pages. The big advantage is that we can define the area which is checked on our news page, so that 'false positives' are eliminated. If weekly checks are too infrequent, you can sign up to their 'Personal Plan' which allows you to check up to 10 pages as frequently as twice a day. See more information on their plans.

Watch that Page

Watch that Page offers a free service for up to 70 weekly downloads (e.g. 10 pages checked every day). As far as we know, the whole page is checked, so there could be 'false positives' for our news page. However, the checking algorithm is claimed to reduce these to a minimum. The user can configure which pages are checked and how results are delivered. see their website for more information

WebMon

WebMon is a genuine DIY solution to web page monitoring. It is a freeware application which you download and run on your own computer. It doesn't actually alert you to changes in page content. You need to run WebMon to check for changes, but you can set it to run each time you start your computer. Download WebMon here

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